Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein 3D has charm, but it hasn't aged well. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is great, even nowadays. Wolfenstein (2009) is slow and unfocused. This one? Well, this one has embraced an alternate history in which Nazi Germany was the victor and takes place in the 1960s, instead of World War 2. It has also embraced the cinematic™ experience, more so than the previous game. Whether it's some cutscene that triggers out of the nowhere, the need to return to base between each mission so that you can converse with the NPCs (thankfully, it's done better than Unreal 2), some completely unskippable sections with no gameplay and the need to actually wait before you can skip the skippable ones don't leave me particularly excited.
Thankfully, the meat of the game is still shooting Nazis (whether they be soldiers, dogs, mechas or some other mechanical entity), just like the previous installments and it can get a bit messy, even with your assault rifle. Blazkowicz is fast (unlike other modern FPS characters) and while taking cover is helpful, it's not always necessary. In fact, enemies will be tossing grenades and try to flank you, so staying on one spot is not a great idea, especially when a heavily-armored enemy is involved. Your weapons are typical FPS fare; your trusty knife, a handgun, an assault rifle, a shotgun, a sniper rifle and grenades and you can dual-wield everything (yes even the knifes and the shotguns). Of course, no modern FPS would be complete without a signature/gimmicky tool/weapon and Wolfenstein: The New Order has the laser cutter/laserkraftwerk. More on that below.
Aside weapons, there are various collectibles, with a good number of them being cosmetic in nature, others unlocking game modes, others upgrading your weapons and a plot choice at the end of the first chapter will give you access to either health or armor upgrades. Thankfully, you don't need to collect a single one to complete the game. there are also perks, which you unlock by completing achievements. For instance, kill 15 enemies with a handgun from cover and you can increase the handgun's magazine size or kill 5 enemies using a stealth takedown and you can unlock the ability to throw knives. Stealth? In my Wolfenstein? It's more likely than you think.
Perhaps as a nod to the two original games, there is a limited stealth feature. At specific points in the game, the enemy will initially not be aware of your presence. When that happens, you can try taking them down one-by-one via stealthy means. If you approach an enemy from behind, you can perform a silent instakill with your knife. Later on, you can also toss a knife or shoot them with your silenced handgun. The enemy's lackluster AI won't care if one of them dies from your silenced attacks (no, they won't even react to his corpse). The only two things they will give a damn is if they spot you outside of cover or if you make a loud noise (like attacking with a non-silenced weapon). Most of those areas will feature one or more Nazi commanders. If they happen to spot you or get alerted by other guards spotting you, they will call for reinforcements. Thus, it's a good idea to make them your priority targets.
As for the laser cutter that I mentioned above, it can only be used outside combat to break chains and cut through wires/specific metallic surfaces, in order to either progress through the game or find secret areas. Enemies aren't carrying any ammo for it; instead, there are plenty of recharge stations around the game. Later on, you'll find the laserkraftwerk, which will replace the laser cutter and can also be used for combat. Aside the limited grenades (and unfortunately) it will be your only weapon for a while that can cause noticeable damage to heavily-armored opponents (who are, otherwise, sponges if you use your assault rifle). You won't get the rocket launcher until very late in the game (and even then, it's only a disappointing upgrade to the assault rifle, instead of a badass weapon in its own right). As a result, a lot of battles that feature heavily-armored enemies will feel unnecessarily protracted as you end up shooting them with the laserkraftwerk, running out of battery, going back to the recharge station to fill it up, going back to the enemy and shooting them again and rinse and repeat.
Some other annoyances that I had with the game are the overdone visual effects which can make it difficult to spot enemies at times (plus they annoy the hell out of me!), losing all weapons and ammo that you had at the beginning of each chapter (gee, thanks for taking my sniper rifle away, assholes) and, of course, the game's horribly uneven performance on AMD cards, despite trying out all the featured workarounds. I'm not sure whether AMD or MachineGames are the guilty party, so I'll blame both for it.
Despite the flaws, though, I enjoyed Wolfenstein: The New Order. It was definitely a better game than Wolfenstein (2009) and I wouldn't say no to trying out Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Complete list
Link to the official site: http://neworder.wolfenstein.com